Kuwait in­te­grates hu­man­i­tar­ian ac­tion with de­vel­op­ment in Africa

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

MAL­ABO: In its drive to deepen and ex­pand re­la­tions with the African Con­ti­nent, Kuwait jug­gles eco­nomic, de­vel­op­ment and hu­man­i­tar­ian ac­tion with diplo­matic one. Re­la­tions with African na­tions has been a top is­sue in Kuwait’s for­eign pol­icy. In this re­gard, the Kuwaiti gov­ern­ment has un­veiled sev­eral ini­tia­tives to give im­pe­tus to de­vel­op­ment marches in African de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

Kuwait host­ing of the 3rd Afro-Arab sum­mit in Novem­ber 2013 and the ini­tia­tive made by His High­ness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ah­mad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to al­lo­cate $1 bil­lion to fi­nance de­vel­op­ment projects in African coun­tries in five years, to come through low-in­ter­est loans, have shown the Gulf coun­try’s great in­ter­est in fos­ter­ing strong re­la­tions with the Con­ti­nent.

Kuwait has kept prom­ises it made in the pre­vi­ous sum­mit of meet­ing the needs of African coun­tries of im­prov­ing their econ­omy, in­fras­truc­ture, food se­cu­rity, agri­cul­ture and de­vel­op­ment projects; hence bet­ter­ing the lives of its peo­ple. The 3rd Sum­mit adopted a new part­ner­ship strat­egy and a joint plan of ac­tion. The two re­gions re­viewed progress made in the three years since, and de­lib­er­ated on how to strengthen their co­op­er­a­tion in ways that would live up to the ex­pec­ta­tions of their ci­ti­zens in terms of so­cio cul­tural and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment based on the prin­ci­ples of equal­ity, mu­tual in­ter­est and re­spect.

Kuwait also launched a $1 mil­lion worth prize to sci­en­tific re­searches on top­ics fo­cused on de­vel­op­ment in Africa. The win­ner of this year’s edi­tion of the prize would be hon­ored in a cer­e­mony to be held on Wed­nes­day on the side­lines of the 4th Afro-Arab sum­mit, which will be held in Equa­to­rial Guinea on Novem­ber 23, 2016.

The Kuwait Fund for Arab Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment (KFAED), the state’s agency for the pro­vi­sion and ad­min­is­tra­tion of fi­nan­cial and tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance to de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, have en­tered in part­ner­ships with 30 African coun­tries. More­over, the Kuwait In­vest­ment Au­thor­ity has also pumped huge cap­i­tals into the in­fras­truc­ture, en­ergy, agri­cul­ture and in­dus­try sec­tors in Africa. Ear­lier this month, Kuwait handed over a spe­cial project to en­hance the med­i­cal ser­vices delivery sys­tem at the African Union Com­mis­sion (AUC) Head­quar­ters. Wel­com­ing the project, the AUC Chair­per­son Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said it was very im­por­tant as it serves as a prac­ti­cal sym­bol of sol­i­dar­ity be­tween the African Union and the gov­ern­ment of Kuwait.

She then added that the AU has a me­moran­dum of un­der­stand­ing with the gov­ern­ment of Kuwait that in­cludes the next phase af­ter this one. “It will sup­port the Africa Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion (Africa CDC), an in­sti­tu­tion crit­i­cal to­wards build­ing re­silience and co­or­di­na­tion in the con­ti­nent to man­age and prevent the spread of dis­eases.” Kuwait has also rushed to help African coun­tries hit by the re­cent out­break of the deadly Ebola virus. His High­ness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ah­mad Al-Jaber AlSabah do­nated $5 mil­lion to the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion and the United Na­tions Of­fice for Co­or­di­na­tion of Hu­man­i­tar­ian Af­fairs to help qual­ify med­i­cal cen­ters in the virus-hit coun­tries to deal with the emer­gency. Kuwait’s non-gov­ern­ment or­ga­ni­za­tions such as Kuwait Red Cres­cent So­ci­ety, the In­ter­na­tional Islamic Char­i­ta­ble Or­ga­ni­za­tion, the Islamic Her­itage Re­vival So­ci­ety have been pro­vid­ing fi­nan­cial, tech­ni­cal and hu­man­i­tar­ian aid to many African coun­tries. In recog­ni­tion of his great hu­man­i­tar­ian ac­tion, the United Na­tions pro­claimed His High­ness the Amir a ‘Hu­man­i­tar­ian Leader’ and Kuwait a ‘Hu­man­i­tar­ian Cen­ter’ on Septem­ber 9, 2014.— KUNA

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